Hello! Brandon here, reporting the results from the first survey in the new Feedback Program. If you didn't get a chance to participate, let me fill you in. We've started a new program to get direct player feedback every month on a variety of topics. Once we collect that information, I'll share the results and what those results mean going forward. For this first survey, we asked a series of questions about Battle for Zendikar online Prerelease events. Thank you to everyone who took the survey—your feedback is greatly appreciated! Without further ado, let's jump into your answers.
Battle for Zendikar Prerelease Events
The first question asked players to rate how the Battle for Zendikar Prerelease went for them. This is an important baseline question; before we start considering changes, we want to know how players feel about the current state of affairs.
While I want those orange and pink sections to be even larger, it's very useful to know that almost 60% of you are happy with Prerelease events. Now we can dig into the nitty-gritty of Prerelease events to investigate where we can make more specific changes.
The Battle for Zendikar Prerelease was different from those of the last several years, in that players were not required to purchase a special Prerelease item. Instead, players could directly enter into events with either tickets or Play Points. Though this was done to mirror paper Prerelease events, we definitely wanted to know if this change was a positive one for players.
Awesome! Glad to know that for almost 80% of you, this change made Prereleases better. Let's move on to the next two questions, which asked about preferred deck building times for Prerelease events.
No strong consensus on these questions, but your answers give us some areas to explore further. Prior to this survey, I suspected that more experienced players would prefer shorter build times and newer players would prefer longer build times. However, this theory was proved to be wrong! We saw no correlation between these answers and how long players said they had been playing Magic Online. More investigation is needed on our end. In a similar vein, the next question asked for preferred round lengths for Prerelease events.
Here we have a clearer winner in what players prefer. Before the survey, this was a change we suspected we would not make, but we wanted to be able to let players weigh in. We'll keep this option in mind, but we're glad to see that the majority of players prefer the way events are currently set up.
The last two questions looked more in depth at different aspects of Prerelease events. These are critical questions that let us judge how to set up events based on what players most enjoy about Prerelease events.
The first thing that strikes me here is the feedback on avatars—it's clear these are missing the mark for many of you. I see a real opportunity to find alternative incentives for participation in Prerelease events that more players would find rewarding.
The other big takeaway here combines the data from the above charts with free-response comments that players wrote in at the end of the survey. A lot of players feel that the prize and entry structures of Prerelease events could be improved, and especially feel this structure is unfair when compared to release events.
To be fully upfront, I can't share exact details, nor can I promise that we will in fact change anything.
However, I can tell you that all options are on the table—we are looking at entry options, prize structures, participation prizes, event structure, promotional aspects, and everything else under the sun to try to make Prerelease events as awesome as possible. If the question is "Have you thought about doing it this way," the answer is almost assuredly yes.
There are two big-picture takeaways that I can share from our discussions so far that illustrate our thought process as we examine your feedback.
- We want Magic Online Prerelease events to feel special.
For some players, Magic Online Prerelease Events are the first chance they have to play with the cards from a new set. For others, it's just the first time they'll play with the new set online. Either way, we want the overall experience to be unique. Our goal is that the Prerelease is an exciting time for players of all experience levels and something that players actively look forward to participating in. So while there are still those who don't feel that way, we will continue to look for ways to achieve this goal.
There's no question that there's something unique about the experience of going to your local game store to participate in a Prerelease. Prereleases mark one of the few times all year for some players that they will even attend an event, and there is a social element to paper Prereleases that is difficult to replicate online. This is an area we need to continue to innovate on to try to achieve that special feeling for Magic Online.
- We want Magic Online Prerelease events to feel special for you.
When we consider different event offerings, we look at lots of data and use it to inform how we expect players will behave with the proposed offerings. We have to have enough options to satisfy our wide player base—ranging from brand-new players who just want to try out Magic to professional players preparing for the Pro Tour. We try to find the right balance to appeal to this player base without splintering each event offering too much. And when it becomes clear that we aren't achieving these goals, we look for ways to make changes. Whoever you are, however you play, we want you to be excited for Magic Online Prereleases.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in this survey. Your feedback truly does help us make Magic Online the best it can be. As we continue this conversation, please keep us informed on your thoughts. If you have any feedback about this survey program or Magic Online in general, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next survey is scheduled to come out in early December and will be all about Play Points and Leagues. See you then!
Assistant Digital Product Manager—Magic Online